One of the most common discussions regarding affiliate programs revolves around whether it's good to send visitors away from your site. The answer is simple. If you haven't established a relationship with your visitors, that is what you should focus on first.

The people who are making good money with affiliate programs use these programs to endorse third-party products and services to their customers. These merchants usually have their own products and use their sites to give tips and recommendations for useful products and services to their customers. The affiliate program products are packaged together and embedded with their own offerings.

In this column, let's look at three simple little "secrets" that successful Web masters use to make money using revenue sharing.

3 "Secrets" for Making Money through Revenue Sharing

  1. Capture e-mail addresses and data from your Web site visitors. I am still surprised to see so many sites missing this critical point. Give first-time visitors a great incentive to submit at least their name and e-mail address. Offer them site updates, a newsletter -- you can get a free, top-notch guide to starting, improving, and making money with a newsletter or e-zine by visiting the publication Make Money the Ezine Way -- a free report, or anything else you have of value. Be sure to give clear reasons why it would benefit them to opt in to your e-mail list. Web site visitors do not return on a daily basis, though they do check their e-mail regularly.

    Creating an opt-in e-mail list gives you the opportunity to build long-term relationships with your Web site visitors while encouraging repeat visits and repeat sales. For maximum sign-up conversion, have subscription forms at the top and bottom of every single Web page of your site, including the home page.

  2. Use your "thank you" pages effectively. One of the most powerful areas of your Web site is your confirmation page, which should appear after someone signs up for your e-mail list. A user is in action mode after he or she completes a form or buys an item and is thus more inclined to make another purchase at this time.

    Use your thank-you pages wisely -- perhaps to recommend an affiliate program. The same rule applies on your order form and in your shopping cart. Just including an add-on product on your order form will increase your sales.

  3. Write effective copy. The Web is all about text. It is about how you write. It is about how you communicate. Instead of working on adding graphics and making your site look cool, use text as much as possible. The most profitable Web sites I know of are mainly made up of text and hyperlinks. Unfortunately, the majority of the affiliate program merchants don't provide us affiliates with good text-based ads.

Instead of relying on the banner ads that the merchants provide, write your own copy. Make endorsements. Be a human being communicating and recommending products and services instead of using underperforming banners. Use proven formulas to create ads that really sell. One of my favorite copywriting books is the classic Tested Advertising Methods, by John Caples.

To study one of the most powerful sales letters I have ever read and to get an awesome step-by-step action plan for writing powerful copy and ads that sell, visit the Web site of Higher Response Marketing.

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